Protesters' hope of bringing down the regime is not fading in Iran

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Protesters’ hope of bringing down the regime is not fading in Iran

The protest movement in Iran is entering its fifth week. Above is a demonstration photographed by a witness in Tehran on September 21, 2022.

As the protest movement enters its fifth week in Iran, activists are calling for nationwide protests in a sign that Mahsa Amini's death still sparks anger in the Islamic republic.

The September 16 death of this young Iranian Kurd sparked the largest wave of protests to take place in Iran since those sparked in 2019 by rising gas prices in this oil-rich country.

And this wave does not stop despite the authorities blocking access to applications such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Online, activists called for mass protests on Saturday under the slogan The Beginning of the End!, that is, that of the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The Iranian population and, in particular, young people are thus invited to demonstrate in places where the police are not present and to chant Death to the dictator, in reference to the Supreme Guide , Ayatollah Khamenei.

Meanwhile, riot rallies are scheduled for Saturday night in all mosques across the country…to counter the plots of Iran's enemies, according to a statement from the Islamic Development Coordinating Council, which is responsible for organizing official events.

Authorities say Mahsa Amini died of illness after vice police arrested her in Tehran for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women.

But the cousin of the young woman claims that she died after receiving a violent blow to the head.

Since then, young women, students and schoolgirls , are spearheading protests in which they chant anti-government slogans, set fire to their headscarves and clash with security forces.

Since September 16, at least 108 people have been killed, according to Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR). For its part, Amnesty International deplores the deaths of at least 23 children killed by Iranian security forces, adding that they were between 11 and 17 years old.

Two members of the security forces have been shot and killed in the southern province of Fars in connection with the protests, bringing to at least 20 the number of members of the security forces killed since the start of the protest, according to reports. official media.

On Friday, in Dezful, in the south-west of the country, a new hotbed of protest led Iranian security forces to deploy in large numbers.

The violence has particularly affected the peripheral regions of Iran, where minorities who say they have long been marginalized live, such as the Kurds in the north-west of the country, where Mahsa Amini came from, or the inhabitants of Baluchistan in the southeast, near the border with Pakistan.

In recent days, deadly clashes between protesters and law enforcement have taken place especially in Sanandaj , capital of the province of Kurdistan where Mahsa Amini was from.

In this photo published by the official website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he listens to the remarks of the country's armed forces chief, General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, during a ceremony in Tehran on October 3, 2022.< /p>

Ayatollah Khamenei on Friday lamented divisions within Muslim ranks, without explicitly mentioning the protest movement. He had reduced it earlier this week to sporadic riots orchestrated by Iran's enemies abroad.

But according to the political scientist and sociologist of Iranian origin Mahnaz Shirali, who lives in France, it is a movement which has its own organization, its own mastermind, its music, its slogans.

En interview with Tout un matin, on ICI Première, Ms. Shirali says that observers draw the conclusion that this movement is much more rooted, much more organized than they believed.

These young people, very different from their parents, points out the political scientist, are standing up to one of the most ferocious and ruthless regimes that exist on our planet.

According she, the real organizer of this protest movement, are social networks. And these demonstrators are very consistently calling for the fall of the regime.

They don't want to negotiate with the ayatollahs, they feel they are incapable of governing their country and have destroyed it.

“This is the first and last thing they ask for: the fall of the Islamic Republic.

— Mahnaz Shirali, an Iranian sociologist and political scientist living in France

Mrs. Shirali believes the Islamic Republic is wavering in its repression; three years ago, she killed 3,000 people in 3 days, without hesitation, she recalls.

The approximately 200 victims this time did not are no less a massacre, she continues. But, this time, the repression is not deployed with full force because it is very difficult to kill children, adolescents.

The soldiers of this regime know they are in front of teenagers. They are not spies or soldiers of foreigners. They are the children of this country.

With information from Reuters, and Agence France-Presse

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